Schools should take bullying very seriously and deal with it quickly to show that bullying is not allowed. Every school in Wales must, by law, have a school behaviour policy in place. This policy should explain how the school will deal with bullying.
Where can I get more advice on bullying?
Their are dedicated websites and charities that have the sole purpose to support young people who have or are experiencing bullying. Here are a few popular sites:
Bullying can effect you by damaging your confidence and cause you to not enjoy going to school/college. Tackling bullying on your own can be very hard however getting help from others is the best way to tackle bullying.
What do I do if I'm being bullied?
If you are being bullied you should try and:
- Tell someone you trust in the school (this can be a teacher or another adult)
- Tell someone in your family
- Do not blame yourself for what has happened
If you are too scared to tell an adult by yourself then ask a friend to come with you.
What do I do if I know someone is being bullied?
If you see someone being bullied then you should let a teacher or member of staff know. If you are to scared to go to the teacher then tell your parents to go to the teachers. When you tell someone about bullying then give as much information as you can. Tell them:
- what has happened?
- how often does it happen?
- who was involved?
- where it happened?
- did anyone else see it happen?
If you find it difficult to talk to someone at school or at home you can contact MEIC, a free 24-hour helpline for children and young people. You can ask MEIC for advice and support about lots of things, including bullying. MEIC can contact the school for you to talk to your school about bullying. Visit the MEIC website or call them free on 08088 023456.
Parents and Carers
Research shows that approximately half the children who have been bullied never tell their parents about it. Children are often too ashamed of themselves to tell anyone; sometimes they feel that no one can help, not even their parents.
What do I do if my child is being bullied?
If you suspect that your child is being bullied you should:
- Talk calmly to your child
- Explain that it is better to talk to someone about it
- Reassure them that telling someone is the right thing to do
- Make an appointment to see you child's teacher/form teacher
Communication with the school is vital and to keep the school up to date if the situation is improving or not.
How can parents and carers help to prevent bullying from happening?
Bullying can happen in any environment whether it is inside of school or in the general community. Parents and carers can help prevent this bullying by:
- Being a good example to the children
- Teach your children about bullying and it's effect
- Inform the school about any bullying that you have witnessed
- Develop anti-bullying habits at your home early
- Spend time at the schools and clubs
Another way for parents and carers to help prevent bullying is to be proactive with the school and communicate consistently to ensure that the children are educated in a safe environment.
Teachers and Professionals
Headteachers and governing bodies must, by law, have a policy to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. It has been shown that schools with a community focus can be successful in changing the culture of a community and have a positive effect on bullying both inside and outside the school gates.
Challenging bullying effectively will improve the safety and happiness of learners, show that the school cares and make clear to bullies that such behaviour is unacceptable.
What are the types of bullying?
Bullying can take many forms, but the three main types are:
- Physical - Harming the victim, punching, kicking
- Verbal - Name calling, rumour spreading
- Indirect - More commonly known as Cyber-Bullying, messages, texts, Facebook posts
More information can be found in the Anti-Bullying overview supplied by the Welsh Government.
How to work with parents to stop bullying?
Parental support is often the key to success or failure in anti-bullying initiatives. Useful approaches include:
- regular consultation and communication between teachers and parents
- providing information about the nature and effets of bullying
- dramatisation of a bullying scenario to which parents are invited to.
Additional supporting information, including updates on Anti-bullying Week, can be found on the Learning Wales website.